Naum Gabo (1890 - 1977), born Naum Pevsner in Briansk, Russia, was a pioneer of the Constructivist movement and one of the most important and influential sculptors of the twentieth century.
Gabo trained in Munich as a scientist and engineer before making his first constructions while living in Oslo in 1915 under the name Naum Gabo. From 1917 - 1922 he lived in Moscow where he worked with Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin. In 1920 they jointly issued, with his brother Antoine Pevsner, the Realistic Manifesto which set out the principles of Constructivism and advocated a new abstract sculpture.
Gabo had his first exhibition with Pevsner at the Galerie Percier, Paris, 1924. He spent the next ten years in Berlin where he came into contact with artists of de Stijl group and the Bauhaus. In 1933 he moved to London, where he worked with Ben Nicholson. Together they edited the manifesto Circle in 1937. He went to St. Ives with Nicholson during the war, and then emigrated to America, where he spent the rest of his life.
Perhaps best known for his three-dimensional constructions, Gabo was always resistant to the idea of the traditional 'editioned print', instead choosing to make a significant body of unique woodcuts over an extended period of time. He made the first of these monoprints in 1950 at the suggestion of William Ivins, formerly curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and continued the practice for the rest of his life.
His main body of prints consisted of twelve images or 'Opera' from which he made numerous printed variants. None were editioned, but instead the artist used the woodblocks to create unique versions, in each case showing how, by altering colour, tone, paper and orientation, he could radically change the nature and balance of a single composition. Only a small number of these works remain in circulation.
Naum Gabo died aged 87 in 1977, in Connecticut, USA.
Gabo's life and work was recently celebrated in a major retrospective at Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2020), the largest exhibition dedicated to his work in the UK to date.
Cristea Roberts Gallery is the exclusive worldwide representative for the prints from the Naum Gabo Estate.